Welcome to another edition of Alumni Updates! This month, I interviewed Pranav Kalra (CO’16), a student at the National University of Singapore (NUS). (He’s the guy on the right.) Here’s what he has to say.
What are you studying? Why did you choose to study in this field?
I’m studying both Engineering Science and Maths. Engineering Science is Engineering but more theoretical, and focuses on training people to take cutting-edge science and research to develop new products and solutions. I’m taking Maths so I can have a deeper understanding of Engineering Science, and also because I’m one of those weird people who really enjoy doing math.
What do you love most about your university?
The campus is really awesome. There’s a lot of greenery and nice places to chill and study, and while it is a bit hilly (walking up hills is hard, man), it definitely makes for a vibrant atmosphere. There are quite a few cool labs for hands-on stuff in Engineering too.
Why did you choose to study at NUS?
Apart from the logistical and practical reasons, the main reason would be the course choice. I want to work towards developing solutions in Alternative Energy, and my course is well suited for that.
What do you miss most about KIS and Bangkok?
For most of us, I think any place is best defined by the people we met and the memories we make. I miss the people at KIS, both my classmates and the community at large. As for the city, I really miss the dynamism (and I always miss the food!).
What are your future plans?
Right now I’m planning on getting some breakfast and coffee. I might do some assignments later and then watch the latest episode of Supergirl. Oh, hopefully, I’ll either be working in Solar Energy or be some sort of teacher (school or university).
What advice do you have for students in MYP and DP?
Of course, you want to keep on track with the stuff you have to study, but if you aren’t super passionate about it, try to get that done and make time for figuring out what you are passionate about. I think if you can take this awesome time you have in your life to figure out what makes you happy and start pursuing that, it can help you develop as a person and make life more interesting and fun.
What advice do you have for aspiring engineers?
Engineering is a huge topic that mainly sticks together on the way its taught and practised. If you want to become an engineer, make sure you like that method of work, and then choose the type of engineering based on your interests. If you’re having trouble picking, ask anyone you know who has some experience with different fields (y’all’s can message me if you want), and remember there usually are ways to switch to other fields in university as well.
How have you contributed to the university? What clubs, frats etc. have you joined?
Last year, I helped run an Art Appreciation club called Artelier in my college (kind of like a dormitory within the university). I have no Art skills so I mostly organized events and did the admin stuff. This year I’m a Resident Assistant at my college and I have an internship doing data analysis.
Do you continue to exemplify the IB Learner Profile even though you are studying in university? How?
I think it just becomes a part of you rather than an active thing you try to do. Growing up while studying at KIS makes the Learner Profile part of how you approach the world. You approach coursework with an inquiring and critically thinking perspective or approach new situations more open-mindedly, etc.
How has the IB program prepared you for university?
The most obvious one will be annoying to most of you: citations. It’s really a time saver to already be good with citations because universities are quite stringent about this when writing essays and all.
Apart from that, if you’ve been self-studying and developing your own perspective and independence as a person, that really sets you up well for university.
You can contact Pranav at email@example.com
Are there alumni you’re dying to hear from? Leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to get into contact with him/her.